By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
It’s obvious the Nelson Leafs do not want to spend another off-season hunting for a coach and GM.
Which is why team president Russell Stocks announced the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League franchise has resigned current skipper Chris Shaw to another season with the Green and White.
“Chris, in his rookie season as a Head Coach and GM with the Leafs, has lived up to, and in some cases, surpassed our expectations in many aspects of his position,” said Nelson Leafs President, Russell Stocks.
“(So) it was quite an easy decision to have him back next year.”
Shaw did not have the easiest of starts behind the bench.
Arriving in Nelson after most teams had already held spring camps, Shaw was behind the eight ball from the start.
That transferred onto the ice where Nelson started the KIJHL season winless in four games. What was tough about those losses, everyone setback came at the hands of Murdoch Division opponents.
There was the suspension to Shaw seven games into the season for using “non-approved – by Hockey Canada – players.”
But Shaw quickly turned the ship around, leading the Leafs to third spot in the Murdoch Division with mostly a team filled with rookies.
“Chris has demonstrated that he has the ability to grow, adapt and move forward and ultimately brought this team made up of over 75% rookies to a better than .500 record after starting the season with 4 straight losses,” Stocks explained. “ That is no small accomplishment, and Chris should be proud.”
Nelson, 24-21-0-3, concludes the regular season with a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday at the NDCC Arena against Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
The Leafs open the Murdoch Division semi final series Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Fruitvale against the Nitehawks. Game two goes Wednesday with the series shifting to the NDCC Arena Friday, Feb. 18 and Saturday, Feb. 19.
Leaf management likes what it sees in Chris Shaw, resigns skipper
By Bruce Fuhr